Thursday 21 June 2012

Early to Bed, Early to Rise.

Words to live by.
Unfortunately, it's not that simple anymore.
In fact, I wonder how many farmers have actually been able to follow that credo.
Perhaps in simpler and more civilized times, sleep was easy to catch.
But if you want to take control of your life and step beyond meaningless employment,
the day must carry some extra weight.

On May Day, which is the European labour day, I saw an old poster,
posted on Facebook in a few places.
It read, Eight hours for work, Eight hours for sleep, Eight hours for what we will.
I like that schedule and I think it's fair.
Many people propose that we don't need that much sleep, but I would prefer eight hours to seven or to nine.
( Not that I wouldn't do nine if I could.)
And I generally support unions for their work in trying to keep the common man from being led into slavery.
It is apparent that most of us will sacrifice either sleep or personal time for the sake of money,
whether out of greed or necessity.
And that allows unscrupulous employers to take advantage of a disadvantage.

I often reflect on the irony of computers.
The original purpose of a computer was to alleviate workloads, and allow people more time for home and family.
The opposite has happened, though I'm sure many saw that coming.
If you increase productivity,
then profitability goes up.
So why not keep raising productivity?
So it goes.

A farmer is a self-employed businessman.
His hours are determined by the farm and his obligations, and not a schedule on a calendar.
There is no union to step in to set standards.
But the responsibility is to personal goals, and not to the greedy aspirations of another.
There lies the real freedom.
The freedom of choice.
You must take into mind that slavery is not bondage to labour,
but the revocation of the ability to choose.

Self-determination is not all work and no play.
It means that you may exercise your freedom of choice as you best see fit.
When the temperature outside is beyond hot,
you may choose to work in the shade.
When your family needs you,
you can be there for them.
When there are choices, you are able to make them,
without asking someone else first.
When your livelihood needs you however, there is no one who will take your place or fill-in.
That is the Faustian bargain.
The freedom to choose, in exchange for heart and soul.

The chicks are hatching tonight.
You'd think that they would start at nine and finish up by four-thirty.
Apparently, they haven't read the employment standards act.
I won't stay up all night long for them, but I should make sure that nobody stays in the incubator too long once they've hatched.
Chicks don't hatch every night, but there is always something going that pushes conventional wisdom beyond the 'early to bed' point; every night.

Many mornings start, bleary eyed, rifle in hand, trying to focus the crosshairs on whatever is upsetting the chickens; much too early.
The final key strokes to finish a blog post are often met with trouble in the yard,
or trouble in the house.
Yet I rejoice at being able to pick my son up at the bus stop at four o'clock
when most other parents are still at work.
I don't need to check the calendar to juggle my priorities;
my priorities juggle my calendar.

Tonight, the children are safe and sleeping.
But the chicks are hatching, and they need to be tended to.
And so I will.
With a glad heart;
for it is my choice.

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